by Natalie McAdam, Nutritional Therapist, founder of Divine Nutrition, and self-confessed lover of coconut oil
I have recently discovered the virtues of coconut oil. Not only does it smell absolutely amazing it tastes divine when used in cooking and it is highly versatile. Here are just some of the reasons why adding this to your diet could benefit you from the inside out…
Coconut oil use to have a bad reputation due to its high fat content, however, recent research has revealed that coconut oil when used in it’s pure virgin state can actually help to rev up your metabolism. Coconuts contain a special fat that goes directly to the liver where it can be used to increase calorie burning.
Coconut oil does contain saturated fat but the saturated fats in coconut oil are of the healthy variety medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA). Medium chain fatty acids get metabolized directly in the liver so they are converted straight into energy and not stored as fat and can therefore be used to help your body to burn unwanted fat.
The beautiful and slender Miranda Kerr is a fan of coconut oil, which she adds to green tea for its fat burning properties and over salads as a dressing.
Eat like an athlete
Personal trainers and athletes are increasingly using coconut oil due to the fact that the fat in the oil provides a longer release of energy and can help to decrease the amount of muscle broken down. Many personal trainers add a tablespoon of coconut oil to smoothies in the morning.
Cooking at high temperatures
Coconut oil can also be used in cooking instead of butter or olive oil. This is because it is highly heat resistant which makes it ideal for frying and baking.
Olive oil is actually second to coconut oil when it comes to high heat cooking as olive oil breaks down more easily, which is not good for your health. I have used it for roasting sweet potatoes and it also tastes great when used for roasting salmon in the oven. But my favorite recipe so far is when using it to bake Greek yoghurt and honey cupcakes (recipe on website www.divinenutrition.co.uk).
Due to its high content of fatty acids coconut oil makes a great moisturizer for the skin. It is able to penetrate deep into the skin leaving it feeling super soft. It is a natural organic product that can be used as an all over body moisturizer. It is also rich in antioxidants so can help with the appearance of stretch marks and may help prevent premature aging.
The super model Gisel Bundchen likes to use coconut oil on her body at night to help soothe and hydrate her skin when she has stayed out on the sun too long.
Coconut oil also makes for a great hair conditioning treatment. It helps to soften your hair and scalp and can even help with dandruff!. Try using it once a week as a deep conditioning treatment (leave on for 30 minutes) or try sleeping with it combed into your ends and wake up with silky soft tresses.
If you ever wondered how the Kardashians have such shiny manes, Kim Kardashian reportedly uses a hair mask once a month made out of avocado, mayonnaise, egg, castor oil and coconut oil.
For more nutritional advice from Natalie McAdam visit www.divinenutrition.co.uk